When linguists talk about the historical relationship between languages of the world, they oftentimes use a tree metaphor. The textbook version tends to be drab and boring, however, which is why Minna Sundberg, the creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent took the time to create a much more imaginative version.
Arika Okrent of Mental Floss writes, “An ancient source (say, Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, North Germanic), which feed into specific languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian).
Now, a much more enticing version of the simple tree diagram has been created. For understandable reasons, it has gone viral:
If you’re interested in learning more, check out this page where Sundberg offers a comparison chart of words in the Nordic languages. She also illustrates what an outlier Finnish is with the concept of “meow.”
Via Mental Floss
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